Stryper // Kix
Heavy metal certainly has no shortage of rebels. It seems like everybody’s rebelling against something, and that’s part of the genre’s allure. However, the most rebellious thing anybody can do is hold steadfast to personal beliefs and never waver. Stryper indisputably do both.
They’re not shy about their Christian beliefs, but they’re also consistently as heavy as any of the genre’s pillars. Following up 2013’s seminal opus No More Hell To Pay, which debuted at #6 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums Chart and #2 on the Christian Albums Chart, their eleventh full-length original album, Fallen [Frontiers Music SRL], is their heaviest offering to date.
In early 2015, Michael and his band mates Robert Sweet [drums], Oz Fox [guitar], and Tim Gaines [bass] retreated to Spirithouse Recording Studio in Northampton, MA. The four musicians collectively immersed themselves in the recording process for Fallen with Michael handling production yet again.
“There’s something to be said for the chemistry of a whole band in the studio together,” he continues. “We were there living and breathing this record, and I feel like the results speak for themselves.”
Album opener “Yahweh” certainly does. Penned with Clint Lowery of Sevendust and Call Me No One, the six-minute plus anthem fuses tight thrash guitars with soaring vocals and a galloping beat. Airtight solos nearly collide with an orchestral refrain bolstered by a muscular groove.
At the same time, the first single “Pride” weaves together intricate fretwork with a slamming refrain that seesaws between swooning and searing. “Sometimes, pride gets in the way of what we want to accomplish or what we want to do,” he sighs. “Everybody goes through that. It’s my reminder saying, ‘Let’s not allow pride to tear us apart.’ Nine times out of ten, that is what separates us. Beat our pride down, and we will survive.”
Loud & Proud Owner & President Tom Lipsky adds, “What I have always loved about KIX is they make rock ‘n roll fun. What I love about their new music is that it’s pure, genuine KIX music, straight up guitar rock with no compromise. They’re not chasing trends or trying to re-invent themselves. They’re simply doing what they do best…and now they can do it Loud and Proud!”
Marking the re-emergence of KIX in early-2000’s, the band had teamed up a few times a year to test the waters with reunion shows in the Maryland/Pennsylvania, which were very well received. Then in the summer of 2008, KIX performed outside the mid-Atlantic for the first time in 13 years at two of the biggest rock festivals in the U.S. Rocklahoma in Pryor, OK and Rock the Bayou in Houston, TX. The band was hailed by many music websites and attendees as “Best Performance” at both festivals, where they played alongside Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, Tesla, Queesryche, Ratt, and more.
As the demand for new music has never subsided and in fact has only increased over the last few years, the band decided that they can no longer ignore the overtures from their fans and are currently recording new KIX songs.
Rhodes has also written hit songs for Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne and Journey.